Dickinson students, faculty, staff and alumni observed the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by attending an three-day Sustainability Symposium on the Dickinson campus. The much-anticipated event underscores the college's longstanding commitment to sustainable living.
“Environmental and sustainability concerns now permeate virtually every issue, problem and opportunity at every conceivable level—local, state, national and global,” said President William G. Durden '71, as he delivered the event's opening remarks on April 15. “At Dickinson, we have a responsibility to prepare our students to meet these challenges.”
The symposium featured talks and panel discussions by Dr. Anthony Cortese, president of Second Nature; Jan Jarrett, president and CEO of PennFuture; Bruce Schlein, vice president of corporate sustainability at Citi; Donald Graham, founder and chairman of The Graham Group; Bernard David P'13, venture partner of enerTech Capital; Gil Sperling '77, senior advisor for policy and programs of the U.S. Department of Energy; and Rick Shangraw '81, vice president of research and economic affairs at Arizona State University. [Article continues below.]
A longstanding priority
Dickinson has been nationally lauded for its efforts to facilitate related learning and practices, both in and out of the classroom. A trailblazer in the field, Dickinson established an environmental-studies program in the 1970s. The college's involvement in sustainable education has only deepened in the decades since, with the founding of the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) program in the 1980s and the establishment of the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education in 2008. Related coursework, programs and events have grown exponentially in recent years.
“While we have clearly emerged as a leader in this area, it is imperative that we continue to press forward to solidify our permanence and to ensure that sustainability becomes a unique and defining characteristic of a Dickinson education,” noted President Durden. “Our challenge is to find ways to continue to set the standard in environmental and sustainability undergraduate education in the United States—and, potentially, globally—as these issues are destined to play a central role in the 21st century.”
by MaryAlice Bitts
Photos by A. Pierce Bounds '71